“Together, they make up a name which no one else has taken. You can find it immediately when you search for it, which is always important.”
Before you read this Q&A, I recommend you go to Google and search ‘Tsar Green’, this guy will be the first person that comes up.
The RSOM team was thrilled to chat to Melbourne musician Daniel Pearn, better known to the music world as ‘Tsar Green’, on the meaning behind the name, his radio program and his brand new dual single Muslim Jesus/Burmese Wednesday.
J: Hey Daniel, welcome to RSOM. Firstly, I’ll get to tell our readers a bit about yourself and your musical background.
D: “It’s a pleasure to be able to chat. So yeah, I’ve currently been living and playing around the Melbourne area for around three years now: writing, performing, and slowly networking with this fantastic community we have here locally. I mainly stick to solo acoustic – nothing unseen there – but I’ve never wanted to ever fit into a stereotypical genre per se. Not like the punk rock strummers, not like the sensitive finger pickers, not like the jazzy groove-ster. I’ve always tried to find a niche for my unique playing style”
J: Where would you say that comes from?
D: “I guess that originates from my days growing up on the family farm just outside of Deniliquin in NSW, about an hour from the Murray River. When I was six, my Mum insisted I learn a musical instrument, for reasons I’m not totally aware of. For me, that meant learning the guitar ‘properly’, which really meant learning classical. Despite the stereotypes that go along with school students learning classical music, I actually didn’t mind it, and I kept going at it until around the end of my high school days. Even though I wound that down around then, whenever I tell this to people they say it makes sense that I started out classically, from the way they’ve seen me play.”
J: When did you begin song writing?
D: “I began song writing when I started coming down to Melbourne for university. I had really gotten into a lot of old school songwriters, such as Leonard Cohen, Billy Joel, Cat Stevens, and others by that stage. I began to think it would be cool if I could ever write my own songs. So, I did.”
J: Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
D: “Haha, yes I do as a matter of fact! I remember it taking me months to write, being incredibly laborious, and not being very happy with the end result. I was adamant that it would never see the light of day. I think it took me about 2 years to start writing songs that I was happy with actually performing.”
J: Do you have an overall general song writing process, or does it change song-to-song?
D: “It usually ends up with me sadly sitting at the guitar for hours trying to find a hip, new riff to write. Once I’ve got that and the chord progression down, I’ll get onto the lyrics, which usually mean bugger all.”
J: You’ve got your single launch for your new dual single ‘Muslim Jesus/Burmese Wednesday’ coming up this month. Without giving away too much, what was the inspiration behind that song?
D: “’Muslim Jesus’ is in fact not as silly as it sounds; at the time, it was about three particular people who pissed me off. Regardless, it’s always a fun one to play. ‘Burmese Wednesday’ is a song about nothing. Not in the Seinfeld sense, but more in the literal sense. I was sick of everyone else writing songs that ‘mean’ so much, whereas I sometimes want to write songs for their own internal beauty, without any other motive. I still feel like that now to a certain extent. There’s a part in that one where I rhyme ‘orange’ with ‘grange’. I bet Eminem would be amused at that one.”
J: What was the writing and recording process for it like?
D: “The writing? Buggered if I can remember the exact details of that. The recording? That was pretty easy. It’s live. My mates Finn and Dylan from Sonic Fingerprint Studios recorded it at the Arcadia Hotel back in January of 2017. They really do a fantastic job. Finn did my live album as well back in 2016.”
J: What can your fans, and RSOM readers expect from the single launch?
D: “Shenanigans, booze, more shenanigans, and hopefully plenty of antics. Also, good music. We hope. Anthony Mastrullo, a good mate of mine, and the Fringe Dwellers, the brainchild of another of my mates; Daemos Griffin, will also be playing. They shall also be bringing the auditory goods.”
J: Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
D: “That’s a difficult one to pinpoint. There’s plenty of influences in there. Apart of the classical input of my youth, and the songwriters I mentioned before, I get around quite a bit when it comes to so-called ‘aspirations’. I guess to list a few I haven’t mentioned, you could say; Soundgarden, Crowded House, Fleetwood Mac, Ed Sheeran, Hozier, Prince, Coldplay, Simon and Garfunkel, but there’s plenty of others as well. Also, I get around pretty much anything 80’s. I reckon that’s when the pop hook hit its peak, and never really recovered from that height.”
J: If you had to describe your music in three words, what would they be?
D: “More. Power. Ballads.”
J: Where did the name Tsar Green come from?
D: “Ha. I was sitting on this name for ages before I adopted it. The ‘Tsar’ doesn’t really mean anything, I just wanted a name that hinted at some kind of royalty. I guess that’s the narcissist in me. The ‘Green’ is quite specific. It originates from the television character Cleaver Greene, from one of my favourite TV programmes; Rake. Together, they make up a name which no one else has taken. You can find it immediately when you search for it, which is always important.”
J: And finally, would you be able to give our readers some insight into the Australian Musicians Radio Show: what it’s purposes is and what your segment is.
D: “Yeah, so I produce a programme every Monday night on Australian Musicians Radio (AMR), called Feel the Burn. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun since we started it back in August of last year. Myself and my co-hosts, Jimmy Maddon and Aaron Thomason, get a couple of local guest acts on every week, to chat, play live in the studio, and spin any recordings they might have. The great thing about it is, being internet radio, we aren’t bound by a code of practice like “normal” community radio. What that means is that guests are not limited to what they can say, so nobody feels like they have to get a persona. Our guests just get on and be themselves. If they want to talk about the music we can do that. If they want to talk shit for a couple of hours we can also do that. There’s no bounds to the possibilities we can experience. Also, we get to talk to some amazing musicians in the process.”
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra.